Should a Restoration Company Startup Begin as a Mitigation-Only or Full-Service Company?

The most important initial question to answer is whether to begin as a mitigation-only company like most restoration franchises or begin as a full-service restoration company.

Mitigation services customarily include water mitigation, mold remediation, and fire and smoke clean up and odor control. Many contractors entering the industry find it relatively simple to learn these services.

Of the 25,000 restoration businesses in the US, 80% provide mitigation services only. In the past, the industry has been known primarily as a water damage industry. Restoration had arguably been synonymous with water mitigation services. But there is another essential service that gets much more attention today.

Becoming full-service requires the addition of rebuild or general contracting services. Building materials that are damaged and removed must be repaired or replaced. General contracting has always been a significant part of the industry but has not been given equal attention to mitigation, and far few restoration contractors have embraced it. Rebuild work is much more complex and complicated, and many restorers find it beyond their comfort level. 50% of US States require some sort of a general contracting license, which has been another barrier to entry.

The truth is that those without a construction background can successfully perform this work. They are required to manage the job in terms of getting a scope of repair completed, they must negotiate and collaborate with the insurance company to reach an agreed-upon scope of repair, and deal with any change orders from the customer.

These steps are customary aspects of managing the job, and the labor can be subcontracted to professionals who know how to hang drywall, paint, do trim carpentry, and install flooring. Most tasks are never as hard as they seem if you get some help from a knowledgeable person to guide you through the process.

The industry as a whole is, however, shifting toward a preference for full-service companies. Customers, carriers, and managed repair programs all prefer the convenience of calling one contractor who can do it all.

90% of customers expect restorers to perform both services, mitigation, and rebuild. They are disappointed if they discover a company does the mitigation only, so why not do both sides of the job and gain the financial reward full-service provides.

As you will see in another blog in this series, adding rebuild is a tremendous moneymaker, the biggest generator in the industry, and a startup restoration company owner is wise to include it in their initial arsenal of service offerings.

Below are the postings of the How to Start a Restoration Company Series. I hope together they will answer most of the critical questions you have. Afterward – give me a call, and let’s talk about how to put it all together! Click on the title to view.

For more information or help to start your restoration business contact me at

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